Economy

Saudi Arabia open to another OPEC cuts extension

Saudi Arabia open to another OPEC cuts extension”

Power has been cut to 4 million homes in Florida as millions fled the state as Hurricane Irma moved up the coast.

Brent crude oil futures were down 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $53.65 a barrel at 12:17 p.m. (1617 GMT) while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 59 cents, or over 1 percent, to $48.07.

Indication: on the daily chart, the 50-day moving average crossed the long term 100-day moving average at $47.40, indicating bullish momentum.

Irma hit Florida on Sunday morning as a unsafe Category 4 hurricane.

Irma is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm over northern Florida or southern Georgia later on Monday.

Now many refineries are restarting, including the largest USA refinery.

Saudi Arabia now holds a total of 6.3 million barrels (1 million kl) of crude in Japanese storage, the trade ministry official said, declining to be identified. "They can cut USA allocations and supply that to Asia", the trader added.

"We believe that Irma will have a negative impact on oil demand but not on oil production or processing", Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note.

The longer-term focus, however, was on discussions over a possible extension to the 15-month production pact between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers including Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.

The UAE Minister of Energy, Suhail Al Mazrouei, held a meeting with Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Falih, Saudi Arabia's Minister for Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, discussed the developments in the oil market during a meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan's capital, on the sidelines of the science and technology summit of the Islamic Cooperation Organisation.

The deal aims to curb a glut that has weighed on crude prices for more than three years.

Al-Falih and Al-Mazrouei agreed that an extension of the output cuts beyond March 31 "may be considered in due course as fundamentals unfold", according to a Saudi ministry statement.

The deal agreed late a year ago helped to keep prices as high as $58 a barrel in January, but they have since sagged as global stocks have not fallen as quickly as expected.

The two ministers expressed their relief over the improvement in the market fundamentals, said a Wam news agency report.



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